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Thread: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

    For those growing disillusioned with circular balloonism, I bring you this:

    Mark Kennedy grew up a Catholic, and a Harry Potter fanatic. Only one stuck.

    "I considered myself a non-spiritual person," he said. He thought he was done with religion. And then he stumbled on the podcast "Harry Potter and the Sacred Text."

    The podcast told him that the Harry Potter series - the books that he always turned to for solace when he was angry or stressed or in need of an escape - could be a source of spiritual sustenance.

    "I feel like I'm born again," he said.

    Last week, Kennedy came to an event space at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington with hundreds of fellow fans of the podcast, who have found a surprising spirituality in the magical fiction series, which turns 20 years old this year.

    Hosted by Harvard Divinity School graduates Casper ter Kuile and Vanessa Zoltan, the podcast "Harry Potter and the Sacred Text" became the number-two podcast in America on iTunes soon after it debuted last summer. It has inspired face-to-face Potter text reading groups, akin to Bible study more than book club, in cities across the country. In Harvard Square, ter Kuile and Zoltan pack more than 100 people into a loft for a weekly church-like service for the secular focused on a Potter text's meaning.

    In the episode they taped at Sixth & I, they used one chapter of the third Harry Potter book as a vehicle for discussing the topics of trust, betrayal, love and prejudice (against werewolves).

    Touring the country this summer, the podcasters have been met night after night by adoring, mostly millennial crowds who want to soak up their secular meaning-making. For the growing slice of Americans who label themselves "spiritual but not religious," Casper ter Kuile and Vanessa Zoltan are kind of pop stars.
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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    I am a Harry Potter Heathen. I have never read a HP book or seen an HP movie. All I know about it is what I see on TV when they discuss Harry Potter on other shows or commercials for Disney.

  3. Amen Catholicity amen'd this post.
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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    I did read the whole series. They were fun, but without substance. You have to be pretty strange to see any spiritual aspect to them in my opinion.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    I consider the conundrum 'spiritual but not religious' an oxymoron leaving one with the impression that religion is bad and spirituality is good. The distinction between spirituality and religion is ambiguous at best.

    Harry Potter can be come a religion and eventually an 'organized religion.'
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    impression that religion is bad and spirituality is good
    The impression is deliberate. The trend, in the US at least, has been towards spirituality as a rejection of organized religion.




    As for the OP, I can't say I'm terribly surprised. Fiction has long been a vehicle for exploring moral questions without the risk of real life consequences. It's small wonder that a generation that grew up on HP can find the moral questions in it. Still a bit absurd, though.
    I'm not here anymore.

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    Professor The Melody Maker's Avatar
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    Sacred text message?
    ~ Russell ("MelMak")

    "[Sing] and [make] melody in your heart to the Lord." -- Ephesians 5:19b

    Fight_spam!

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    Professor Catholicity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I am a Harry Potter Heathen. I have never read a HP book or seen an HP movie. All I know about it is what I see on TV when they discuss Harry Potter on other shows or commercials for Disney.
    Well you fit right in with KG and I. we've never really wanted much to do with Harry Potter in the first place.
    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
    George Bernard Shaw

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